tibetan protest impacting the election in taiwan

tibetan monks

Tibetan monks, nuns and other Tibetan supporters stage a candlelight vigil by walking around the Swyambhunath Stupa in Katmandu. The march was another display of solidarity with Tibetans in Tibet, and occurred shortly after the protest on Monday.

The unrest has created shock waves in another volatile region on China’s periphery, shaking up the presidential election in Taiwan and sapping support for the candidate Beijing had hoped would win handily. The suppression of Tibet protests by Chinese security forces, as well as missteps by the Nationalist Party, which Beijing favors, have nearly erased what had seemed like an insuperable lead for Ma Ying-jeou, the Harvard-educated lawyer who has been the front-runner in the race.

Concern that China’s crackdown could herald a tougher line on outlying regions that Beijing claims as sovereign territory, including Taiwan, has become the most contested campaign issue ahead of Saturday’s election.

ma ying jeou

On Thursday, China acknowledged for the first time that security forces had opened fire on Tibetan protesters in Sichuan Province, while also saying that protests had spread to several areas of China where ethnic Tibetans live.

Even if Mr. Ma wins, the election may now give him a weaker mandate for his goal of pursuing closer economic ties and reduced diplomatic tensions with China.

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